Justin Bieber is giving fans access to some of his most intimate personal history in the YouTube docuseries Justin Bieber: Seasons.
While the first four episodes of the series focus on how far Bieber has come as an artist, his musical process, and his relationship with wife Hailey, things take a darker turn in episode 5, in which the singer vulnerably shifts into his battles with addiction and the mental health challenges he’s faced.
He introduces the episode with an honest confession about how much he loved marijuana, before revealing how far his addictions led him astray.
“The first time I smoked weed was in my backyard here — got super-stoned,” he says in a voice-over while showing his hometown of Stratford, Ontario. “And then I realized I liked weed a lot. That’s when my desire to smoke weed started, and then I started smoking weed for a while. And then started getting really dependent on it, and that’s when I realized that I had to stop. I don’t think it’s bad. It’s just that for me, it can be a dependency.”
Bieber’s marijuana abuse was only one addiction he was fighting. At one point, he admits to sipping the codeine cough syrup and soda combination known as lean, popping pills like the psychoactive drug known as MDMA or Molly, and dabbling in hallucinogenic mushrooms, as both a way to escape and as regular teenage experimentation. Hailey chalks up her husband’s experience with drugs as how he self-medicated his troublesome issues with anxiety.
Things became tougher to deal with under such a bright spotlight, while Bieber was attempting to figure out how to navigate his life and exponential fame simultaneously. Bieber’s situation with drugs eventually became dire. He opens up about reaching a point where he felt he was “dying” and his security team checking in with him nightly to check his pulse.
He put in the work to change, however. Trading illegal drugs for antidepressants helped him “get out of bed in the morning,” he says. Bieber also dives into his battle with Lyme disease and mononucleosis before sharing changes he’s made to heal his body from those years of abuse.
The first six episodes of Justin Bieber: Seasons are available to YouTube Premium subscribers now; non-premium subscribers will have to wait until Feb. 10 and 12 for episodes 5 and 6.